Questions raised over sports funding

Questions raised over sports funding

Hundreds of grants were recommended for funding by Sport Australia but were rejected by the former sports minister.

The City of Gosnells’ $500,000 bid for sports development at Bracadale Reserve was rejected in its application for sports funding, despite being one of the most worthwhile, according to Sports Australia.

Sporting clubs and other applicants who were requesting much needed repairs to facilities or upgrades are demanding answers from the federal government’s $100 million sports grant program.

The project for Bracadale Reserve aimed to create a public open space for the community to access facilities that encourage physical activity and inclusiveness.

Some of the project’s proposed redevelopments included improved pedestrian walkway linkages, playground equipment and nature play area for children.

Federal Member for Burt Matt Keogh said it was up to Prime Minister Scott Morrison to explain why projects were funded for political purposes rather than those that Sport Australia’s determined were on high merit.

“The government’s politicisation of the sports grant program stinks, this is a whole community that has missed out – they deserve better,” he said.

“The City of Gosnells and the people of Canning Vale had a go but under the Morrison government they didn’t get a go.”

Gosnells deputy mayor Peter Abetz said the role of the bureaucrat was to make recommendations based on judgements but ministers were responsible for final decisions.

“My experience at the state and federal level of lobbying for infrastructure funding is that bureaucrats often blindly follow certain criteria, but do not have the local knowledge that the local members have,” he said.

“While I am disappointed that Gosnells did not get a grant under the sports funding scheme, I am happy for those councils that were successful.

“I am sure they think their project was more important than ours even if Sports Australia thought otherwise.

“This time we lost out, but other times we win.”

The city informed The Examiner the project will remain on hold until further notice.